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Black/African Diasporic Artist Brings Barbeque to Theatre to Rochester

Blackfriars Theatre, in collaboration with the Bronze Collective, presents Barbecue, by Robert O’Hara, running October 27th – November 6th

In the Community: From Blackfriars Theatre

Robert O’Hara. Photo from

This October, join Blackfriars Theatre, Located at 795 East Main Street, Rochester) for a raucous and slightly twisted new comedy that demolishes the typical view of the American family. 

The grill is hot, the beer is chilled and the table is set for a typical family barbecue. But when drug addiction and family drama come into the picture, this family’s ham-fisted intervention goes south quickly. From Obie Award and Helen Hayes Award winner, Robert O’Hara, Barbecue serves up a heaping helping of sibling love and loathing.

“The play is innovative and speaks to many issues that impact the nation and us as family members. Filled with ingredients of humor, satire and drama, the play has much to reveal,” said Bronze Collective co-founder, David Shakes, is just as enthusiastic about his involvement, not only as one of the organization’s leaders, but also as the director of Barbecue.

In the unpredictable and eye-opening action of the play, O’Hara leaps back and forth between interchangeable casts of actors—one black cast; one white cast—to great effect. For Blackfriars’ leadership, this felt like the perfect opportunity to team up with The Rochester Bronze Collective, an organization dedicated to facilitating and promoting projects amongst Black/African Diasporic artists, producers and organizations in the Greater Rochester Area.

Barbeque flyer, from

Performance Schedule:

  • Thursday, October 27th at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, October 28th at 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 29th at 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 30th at 2:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 4th at 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 5th at 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 6th at 2:00 p.m. 

Bronze Collective leader (and Barbecue producer) Reuben Tapp said the collaboration works towards widening audiences of African American playwrights and subsequent opportunities afforded to the actors of these works. “Challenging works bring out gems that are not always apparent; we hope this work will provide treasures that will grow between Blackfriars and Bronze Collective in the future.”

The Barbecue, under the direction of David Shakes, casts Douglas Curry (James), Whitney Marquise Acoff (Adlean), Kesha Sharee Harzog (Marie), Ashona Pulliam (Lillie Anne) and more. 

“Theatre is a collaborative art form and the opportunity to partner with David, Reuben and The Bronze Collective on this production creates a bridge between our organizations,” said Executive Director, Mary Tiballi Hoffman. “It is our hope that this experience with The Bronze Collective is the first of many as we continue to reach across barriers to create access and opportunity for diverse communities to work and play at Blackfriars.”

Find further information about the event at Tickets are available in person at Blackfriars Theatre at 795 E Main Street Rochester, NY 14605, online at, or by calling (585) 454-1260.